010 – Ofo Ezeugwu of Whose Your Landlord – Housing In Their Hands

Ofo Ezeugwu

Neighborhood insights, landlord reviews, and quality listings empowering and informing the rental community…

Ofo EzeugwuOfo Ezeugwu, CEO & Co-Founder of Whose Your Landlord (enabling renters to find their next home and to review their landlords and housing complexes, and enabling landlords to provide and use renter references and to target their listings to their desired market), joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

Why it matters, content, and landlord reciprocation

Ofo EzeugwuEzeugwu discusses why the landlord review process is so important, why content is important, the need to educate, a forum called The Community, plus blog and video content blended in with the platform, reviews, search and content—all as key things. Plus, how landlords can reciprocate, and the overcoming fear of being blackballed by landlords.

Acquiring users, growth, and helping with disputes creatively

Ofo EzeugwuHow Whose Your Landlord is getting the platform in the hands of renters, how there are many truths to situations and reviews have both sides, larger companies are controlling larger blocks, the importance of reviews, bigger vs. smaller landlords, and more than 10,000 reviews in the Philadelphia and New York areas over 4 ½ years. Developing significant readership, getting involved in disputes, making content to help renters know how to maneuver out of issues and difficulties.

Diversifying the industry, inspired by off campus living, and expansion

Personal questions cover moving a lot as a kid, female and unrepresented backgrounds in real estate tech and how to change that. If people never had a hand in real estate or understood it, or parents could teach them about it, how will they be motivated to enter that industry? But every industry is helped by newbies looking at it, who are not jaded by that reality, and how can one create one’s own. And when one is looking for people, one may not know where to find them. The need for making a more concerted effort for change, and how that can make a big difference. Ezeugwu’s surprisingly good landlord experience, but as VP of his college student body he was focused on off campus activities, and a lot of housing issues. His favorite city to live in, Philadelphia and NYC, where they plan to expand in the cities growing fastest. What home is, and a crowdfunding opportunity for ownership in the company.

009 – Thomas Kutzman of Prevu – On a Mission to Save Homebuyers Money

Prevu

Smart online brokerage enable commission rebates via an end-to-end Platform…

PrevuThomas Kutzman, Co-Founder of Prevu (a smart online brokerage focused on saving people money) and host of “Real Estate Is Your Business” podcast, joins Scott Pollack and Pavan Bahl in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Better Technology. Better Service. Best Commission Rebates.

PrevuKutzman touches on how commission rates too high in real estate, with rates in the US/NYC being double and triple than other developed countries, and how his experiences along with his co-founder Chase Marsh led to creating a solution with Prevu. He continues that in New York City the average real estate price is $1.5-2 Million with high commissions, and how it really is not free to be represented by buyer’s agent because it’s built into the price because of commission split with buyer’s agent. How Prevu gets up to two-thirds back on commissions of buyer’s side to the customer, receiving money back as a commission rebate check. It is not because of a lesser service, instead using technology for better experience for buyers and to make agents more efficient, plus a lower internal cost structure. Controlling the consumer experience and the quality of service and interaction. Despite some 30,000 licensed agents in NYC, 10% of them are doing 90% of work. The Prevu brand acquires leads and customers digitally, and provides more stability and experience/activity for Prevu agents. Plus, why it is a scalable model, and best for major markets.

Engineering a smarter buying experience

PrevuHow Kutzman has been looking at it through the lens of other industries have changed like travel and financial, changing the way agents com into the industry and their expectations of stability, and why you’ll never learn a profession doing it part time. Prevu’s compelling value proposition, the impact of the new tax reform on real estate, and why it won’t impact most people. And, making use of a commission rebate, and expanding to other markets.

Charitable giving, learning, and treating people well

Personal questions cover giving back, a focus on charitable giving, Children’s International, and Code2College which encourages STEM careers at a high school level for underprivileged and minority teens, and how encouraging tech careers at earlier ages leads to greater success. The NYU Violets, how Kutzman was encouraged to save and buy a property instead of having cancelled rent checks, making sure if you didn’t know something, go take a class to learn it. How there are a lot of great real estate people, and a lot of great technology people, but few have a lens on both areas. As time goes on, more people will know both. The meaning of success, a great mentor, treating people the right way serving you well, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, and “Principles”.

 

006 – Richard White of Goodlord – A New Set of Rental Rules

Goodlord

A platform for transactions and “paperwork” for UK home rentals…

GoodlordRichard White, CEO/Co-Founder of Goodlord (the first digital system that pulls together the whole tenancy setup process) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack from the United Kingdom. Recorded in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu. Special thanks to Tom Lambert of Global Founders Capital.

Overcoming industry fragmentation, whether the UK market is more receptive to innovation, and umbrella agencies vs. agents

White discusses taking on a great opportunity, and initiating what he believes can be a global movement, the nature of the rental market in the UK, the changing rental experience, what he saw as an estate agent, how in this day and age so much of the rental market is “super fragmented”, the continuing use of antiquated processes such as fax machines, questioning why the industry is not more modern, and his determination to do something about this. He reveals how he looked at discovery, how to find property, how manage it, but no one making transaction easy or tying it all together. He and his co-founder figured it was the right place to start, from signing, to exchange of cash, to due diligence. Why the UK may be more receptive of real estate tech than other markets. The Goodlord software platform, its segments including emerging (1-3 offices), then 3-13 offices, and 13+, and the division based on how big the agency is and how many transactions. White describes how in the UK there are more umbrella companies, not individual agents.

Building a new set of rules, creating ease and transparency, and finding a co-founder

Next, White reviews the goal, how Goodlord can’t sell product only to estate agents, how they need to take key stakeholders and establish an understanding of a new set of rules. Plus, the challenge of having to convince people that electronic signing was legal. The impact on the industry, driving things forward, and the effort to making people raise their game, making renting as easy and transparent as possible for everyone, going from 11-130+ people in the business, how scaling a business is difficult, finding his co-founder via serendipity from renting a house together, and the dynamics of friends vs. family as business partners.

Working with investors, selling the vision, and cryotherapy

How a large investment changes the dynamics of business operations and focus. Selling the vision, getting the MVP out the door, and dealing with potential investors. Personal questions cover struggles with school, learning problem solving, a surprising app on his phone, cryotherapy, football and cricket, Outward Bound, and white water canoeing. And, taking stock of assets, how a business owner is the biggest asset, and the importance of developing an arsenal of thing you know.

005 – Fraser Patterson of Bolster – Constructing a Full Stack Experience

Bolster

Transforming home remodeling into a safe and hassle-free process…

BolsterFraser Patterson, Founder/CEO of Bolster (a soup to nuts renovation platform built atop a powerful new process. offering the best architect and general contractor for your home renovation project and together use a suite of budget & project management tools) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

Traditional vs. marketplace, from online selection to a detailed call, and catering to flexible needs

BolsterPatterson reviews marketplace vs. traditional approaches. Traditional involved finding a contractor – a marketplace model can do a disservice to homeowner, not trying to solve the problem downstream but instead solving a matchmaking need; with the model aggregating demand and selling leads to professionals, creating a competitive environment bad for service people and with the homeowner getting less info. How Bolster is different, overcoming the usual Illusion of choice in marketplace. Consumers get direct matches, better than just a marketplace. How Bolster knows what a homeowner wants from an architect or contractor, allowing the homeowner to identify online and auto select in a qualification process, discovering things they need to know about their project, then jumping on a detailed call with specialist. How Bolster offers a wide range of opportunities and types of jobs and contractors. The opportunity to cater to several types of needs: flexibility of scope of work and budget, with others on a fixed budget but flexible on scope, and then those with strict scope of work but a more flexible budget. And, how it all comes down to educating the consumer.

Cost overruns, reality shows, and saving real money

Examining the average cost overrun of 60% in NYC, which is usually not planned for. How one can probe in advance, slowing down before construction begins, getting the right info. How, if done properly, constructions can be very plug and play, and how with Bolster across projects they boast a mere 0.1 % cost overrun, which Bolster absorbs. How most consumers can’t enjoy results emulating construction-themed TV reality shows, and how Bolster can save the average homeowner $59k/project as well as time.

Yorkie Bars, a price guarantee, and scaling nationally

A special snack offering of Yorkie Bars, how Patterson started as a carpenter, and has a mathematics degree. Direct/indirect costs of builds, and a detailed review of all of the elements of the construction process and budget. The importance and desire for transparency and Bolster’s cost guarantee, thanks to their insurance partners. How Bolster offers what can be seen as a full-stack experience, and the offer of a best price guarantee. The plan for scaling nationwide, news of recent major acquisition, and following a calling to solve this problem by building this business.

003 – Brendan Wallace of Fifth Wall – Tech, Funding, and Mars

Fifth Wall

Connecting technology innovation and real estate industry leaders…

Fifth WallBrendan Wallace, Co-Founder of Fifth Wall Ventures (fostering collaboration between innovative technologies for the Built World and industry-leading incumbents from all sectors of the real estate industry including: retail, industrial, hospitality, multi-family, homebuilding, office, and brokerage), joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

Two halves of a career, the historical absence of funds in the largest economic sector, and playing translator

Fifth WallWallace shares the mission is to accelerate innovation in the Built World to improve how we live, work, sleep, consume, move, create, connect, and play. He comments how the company envisions a future where technology is seamlessly integrated into the physical spaces around us, creating a shared environment that is more accessible, efficient, and delightful than ever before. He covers his successes as entrepreneur and an exit, arriving at real estate tech, the marriage of the first half of his career (real estate banking and private equity, witnessing the boom and bust) and the second half of his career (going to business school, starting a data analytics business for recruiting and targeting the right kind of workers, raising $35 million as students, then creating the largest ride sharing platform in Latin America, and finally angel investing). How real estate tech offers low-tech risk because innovation is usually technically simple. Real estate is the largest asset class and lending category and store of consumer wealth—so why have there been no funds? What if one could raise capital from the largest buyers of real estate technology themselves, then collaborate and understand or influence what they are going to do, allowing them to make better investments, while supporting portfolio companies. This approach offers the best of traditionalist and generalist VC and corporate VC. How Fifth Wall is like an outsourced recruiter for companies to invest, and on the side of the companies, playing translator between major real estate incumbents and innovators, and partnering with generalist funds. And, how Fifth Wall has relationships deep into every subsector.

A demand for tech, big drivers, and learning from Amazon’s business model

Fifth WallIs Fifth Wall inciting change or making change themselves, and how the demand for real estate tech is growing. Playing a role in translating needs to specific solutions, a focus that is more on commercial real estate, less on residential brokerage, and concentrating on what partners are looking for. Big drivers are energy efficiency and building data assets, why more companies haven’t had a huge impact on the real estate industry with data, and the challenge with collecting meaningful data. Looking at brick and mortar retail and learning. Does Amazon know its business model? The meaning of retail is changing, and the line between online and offline. Plus how there must be more consideration of the physical store in online purchases, and how this relates to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

A technology divide, rushing for the exit, and real estate on Mars

East Coast vs. West Coast divide in technology, how technology is becoming all industries, New York as the nerve center of the real estate industry, and why Fifth Wall is likely to open office in NYC sooner vs. later. How rushing for the exit might have been the biggest mistake of Wallace’s career, both tech and real estate boom cycles won’t last, and why the real test is how you perform during imminent retractions. How Fifth Wall is effectively an advisory business and a venture fund, so Wallace’s time belongs to other people. And a look at rare free time, running and physical training, and the search for balance when one is being paid for good judgment. Plus, maintaining reality as a great partner while creating space to identify the next great opportunity, playing pool, early real estate memories, favorite rooms, and spending a lot of time on the roof. Plus, buying property on Mars.